Students will no longer be disqualified from receiving federal financial aid over past drug convictions under a large-scale, bipartisan spending bill introduced in Congress that’s expected to receive floor votes on Monday. While the main function of the omnibus bill is to keep the government funded through September 2021 and provide assistance amid the coronavirus pandemic, the proposal finally eliminates a question on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) that prompts students to disclose prior drug offenses. The new appropriations and COVID relief legislation also contain a number of other cannabis-related provisions such as the extension of a longstanding rider protecting state-legal medical marijuana programs from federal interference and a ban on Washington, D.C. legalizing recreational sales. Meanwhile, despite a push from the marijuana and financial services industries, it does not contain any language to shield banks that service cannabis businesses from being penalized by regulators.
Kyle Jaeger, Marijuana Moment, 12/21/2020 15:29:00